Marco Fu through to 3rd Round Qualifying at World Champs

Marco Fu is determined to try his utmost to reach the Crucible Theatre after winning his second World Snooker Championship qualifying match on Friday.

The two-time former semi-finalist hasn’t featured at the venue stages since 2018 but beat Ken Doherty 10-6 to reach the penultimate preliminary round in Sheffield.

Fu trailed the 1997 world champion 5-4 after the opening session but reeled off breaks of 136, 104, 97, 71, and 61 in the evening session to advance.

The 46 year-old from Hong Kong is a former world number five and a three-time ranking event winner but has struggled with various issues in recent seasons.

The former Masters runner-up was badly impacted by the restrictions of the global pandemic, and he has also suffered from eye problems that have affected his vision.

After beating Mark Selby in January, Fu had to forfeit a match at the German Masters as a result of the latter concern.

However, Fu has no intentions of making the same decision in this event having made it halfway through the qualifying competition at the English Institute of Sport.

“It’s always been a privilege, a dream for everybody, just to be able to play at the Crucible,” Marco Fu, who will next face Hossein Vafaei, told the World Snooker Tour.

“I miss playing there, definitely. But I’m just going to take it one match at a time. I needed to win four matches here, I’ve won two.”

“That’s just halfway. It’s going to get more difficult from now on, so I’m just going to enjoy it.

“That’s the most important thing, I’m starting to enjoy my snooker again. That’s a big plus already. The Crucible is the dream, but one match at a time.

“[The eye problem] is on and off. That could happen tomorrow, that could happen any time. But I’m not going to pull out, no matter what happens here.

“I’m just going to try my best, try any way to win. Qualifying for the Crucible would be my goal, but next up is a very tough opponent in Hossein.

“I just need to be 100% and hopefully my eyes will be okay for that match.

“I want to play as long as I can, as long as I’m enjoying myself and playing snooker to a decent standard. That’s important as well.

“If I can play to the standard tonight, there’s no reason why I can’t just carry on.”

Elsewhere, 2006 world champion Graeme Dott recorded a 10-5 triumph over Mostafa Dorgham while Irishman Aaron Hill thumped Daniel Womersley 10-3.

It was even better for veteran Andy Hicks, with the 1995 World Championship semi-finalist thrashing Long Zehuang 10-2.

Chinese duo Ma Hailong and Jiang Jun secured tight successes against Martin O’Donnell and Fan Zhengyi respectively.

Oliver Brown beat Dylan Emery 10-8 and Julien Leclercq easily dismantled the challenge of Haydon Pinhey in day five’s other results.

The heavy hitters, meanwhile, will begin to enter the fray in this year’s World Snooker Championship qualifying competition on Saturday.

Those ranked from 17 to 48 in the world rankings join the action in the third round, including the likes of Jack Lisowski, Ricky Walden, Matthew Stevens, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh who are all involved on day six.

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